Hands up anyone whose morning starts off with a good 15 minute bash, battle or quite possibly a war with the snooze button? So that makes two of us! That annoying I-phone alarm sound ringing in your ears, just getting louder and louder, so determined to confirm that you're not actually dancing to tropical music outside the watermelon stand in Mauritius. And its 6am in the middle of the freezing cold, rainy, dark month that is January. Sound familiar?
If you too dread facing your vicious sleep-wake pattern, fear not. You're with a good chunk of the population right here in the UK.
After plucking up the dear life to stretch your body out of that comfy, curled up pretzel shape, you somehow find the energy to roll out of bed and begin to face those tedious, repetitive morning rituals ahead, all before that seminar at 9am sharp that you simply cannot afford to miss. At which point you’re open to any suggestions as to why education and a job should be banned.
You then look in the mirror-and wonder if it's even you on the other side? An electrocuted hot mess.
You're thankful no one else was unfortunate enough to see you like this.
But hold this momentum guys. Although this may have become the norm for some of us, is it actually normal and how we should be living our lives? The truth is no, there may in fact be a bigger problem creeping its way in and its time we realise the benefits of some good ole shut eye.
Sleep happens to be one of the most underrated cures for pretty much any problem you face growing up. Whether it's a way of refreshing your mind; an opportunity to calm down; some 'me' time away from your teenage dilemmas, or maybe a chance for a different perspective before you make a life changing decision- there's definitely a reason why the phrase 'sleep on it' came about.
So here's some food for thought and let's try and stay awake now, shall we…
Sleeping issues from snoring, nightmares, sleep walking, oversleeping and of course sleep deprivation can be due to underlying problems such as depression, weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, anxiety and even cancer. It is important we monitor our sleep and how it might be getting in the way of how we function at large.
Surveys of the nation’s sleeping habits have horrifically revealed that almost a third of us are seriously sleep deprived and in turn, at greater risk of relationship and mental health issues.
The Mental Health Foundation has stressed just how directly correlated sleep is to your mental and physical wellbeing. And that's the last thing you want whilst planning to be the next budding foodpreneur or just want to get through your day like most of us.
Over 75% of insomniacs in a study suffered from low concentration levels, and whilst building your career, you need to be in top form guys!
Poor quality sleep not only makes it ten times harder to keep those fluttery peepers wide open, it can really impact your performance in class, leaving you feeling moody, antisocial and lingering in a zone of daytime fatigue. Because sleep, just like food and water, really is a basic human need.
But enough of the jargon, follow these top tips to put you on the right track:
1. Keep sleeping hours more or less consistent everyday to set your body clock long term.
2. Ensure your bed is comfortable – move off any junk it’s been laden with throughout the day and create a soft haven.
3. Programme your brain to know that as soon as you lie down, it's bed-time. That means lights out, curtains closed, no phones/T.V./ books/tablets.
4. Have a warm drink to calm you down and help you get some Z's. Try camomile and honey herbal tea, hot milk or Horlicks.
5. Avoid any medication at this stage without speaking to your doctor. Sleeping pills can offer a sense of dependency, making it difficult to sleep without them.
6. Opt for natural remedies like fresh lavender in or on your pillow.
7. Do some brisk walking during the day, or take up yoga. These are great for your mind as well as your body.
8. Stay clear of smoking and reduce caffeine, both of which inhibit a thorough bout of sleep due to their stimulating nature.
9. Make a sleep journal to identify important points which you may later show your doctor. Note down things like when you go to bed, were there disruptions in the night, what time did you get up, how were you feeling that day, is something worrying you?
Bear in mind though, we're all different, and if your sleeping doesn't improve after implementing basic measures, that's your cue to make a trip to the doctor who will help you tackle and understand the problem specific to you.